Why does my relief valve keep popping out?
Recently, more housing developments are being constructed in areas where the local water utility is supplying these projects with extremely high water main distribution pressure. Contractors are installing water pressure reducing valves in the service. These reducing valves are available with or without a back flow check.
In cases where pressure-reducing valves, backflow preventors, or check valves are installed; water pressure is easily able to build to levels which will activate the T&P valve.
To remedy this, install a pressure reducing valve with a back flow bypass built into it, and/or install a thermal expansion tank that is properly sized to your water heater.
Why does my pilot light keep going out?
Sometimes the pilot light simply gets blown out. Ensure that all covers are in place. Check the reset thermal switch, venting, air supply, gas valve magnet, gas pressure, and for dirt in the pilot orifice.
What is the energy factor of my water heater?
The water heater Energy Factor (EF) is a measure of the overall efficiency of the water heater. This is determined by comparing the energy in the heated water used daily to the total daily energy consumption of the water heater. The higher the EF, the lower the annual operating costs.
Where is the anode rod on my water heater?
For most water heaters, the anode rod is attached to the hot water outlet of the water heater. If you are facing the front of the water heater (where the labels are), the hot water outlet is on the left-hand side. The anode rod is often referred to as a “sacrificial rod” or “mag rod”.
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I smell gas/combustion products, what should I do?
Do not try to light any appliance.
Do not touch any electrical switch; do not use any phone in your building.
Immediately call your gas supplier from a neighbor’s phone. Follow the gas supplier’s instructions.
If you cannot reach your gas supplier, call the fire department.
Why is my flame yellow?
Your pilot‘s flame should be about mostly blue. If it is mostly yellow the combustion system may require adjustment or servicing. Call us (817) 825-6377 immediately to check for problems. Or visit Wilson Home Services Contact Page
Can I put an insulation blanket on my water heater?
During times of energy crises and rising fuel costs, property owners tend to be more energy conscious. Water heater blankets are often considered for heat loss and conservation purposes.
Blankets for older fiberglass insulated electric water heaters make sense, especially since electricity is a much more expensive method to heat water than gas. Most electric water heaters insulated with foam (R 8.33 or higher) meet ASHRAE standards for performance (efficiency and standby loss) when tested according to Department of Energy procedures.
Many experts argue that heat loss in a gas water heater goes up the flue and therefore a blanket accomplishes no purpose.
Some local codes and utility company regulations may prohibit insulation blankets. Too often, the Do-It-Yourselfer has good intentions but unknowingly creates hazards by:
Covering safety warnings and operating instructions. (These labels are not to be removed from the heater and placed on the blanket or elsewhere.)
Covering controls, access areas, shut off devices, temperature and pressure relief valves, etc.
Blocking air passages required for combustion or draft resulting in unsafe operation.
Consequently, the water heater manufacturer does disclaim any liability for problems associated with the use of insulated blankets.
Why do I run out of hot water?
Either your system is not providing its maximum supply of hot water, or your hot water demand is too great for the system.
There is only one way to determine whether or not a water heater is operating properly. Immediately after the water heater has completed its heating cycle, all of the hot water should be drawn from the heater at approximately 3 gallons a minute, and the temperature measured in the process. This can be done with the use of a standard mercury thermometer and a standard 3 or 5 gallon bucket. Note the number of buckets of water drawn off to reach a point 30 degrees lower than the highest temperature. Multiply the number of buckets drawn off by 3 (or 5) (the number of gallons per bucket.) This figure should then equal, or exceed, 70% of the rated capacity of the heater.
If 70% of your volume capacity is efficiently drawn off and operating recovery time is normal, then it can only be concluded that your demands are greater than the water heater’s delivery ability.
Why is my water heater making noises?
Here are two main conditions that may cause tank noise; Water Hammer and Mineral Build-up.
Water Hammer - Water hammer occurs when this non-compressible liquid, flowing through a pipe at a given pressure and velocity, is stopped abruptly by quick closing valves such as solenoid valves on clothes washers and dishwashers. Single lever faucets can also create these “shock waves.”
Consequently, damage can result to piping, water meters, storage tanks, water heaters, temperature and pressure relief valves and pressure regulator gauges.
This kinetic energy force can be controlled by installation of water hammer arrestors, expansion tanks, or pressure only relief valves in cold water make-up lines at 25 to 50 pounds less than the temperature and pressure relief valve setting on the water heater.
Mineral Build-up - The noisy condition is a result of lime formations or sediment collecting on the tank bottom or on electrical elements. It is not uncommon to find quantities of sand and other minerals settling out of the water and onto the tank bottom.
Hand cleaning of parts by scrubbing or vinegar may help to reduce build-up. Flushing the tank is also an option, but removing all of the materials may prove difficult on electrical models. If the build-up is not addressed, the system may require element replacements.
In hard water areas, the best solution for eliminating the noise problem is to install a water softener, to inhibit scale build-up.
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What general maintenance should be done on my water heater?
Professional technicians should perform most repairs and maintenance. However, here are a few measures you can take yourself:
Ensure that there are no sources of flammable vapors in the same area as your water heater (this includes gasoline, heating oils, lighter fluid, propane, etc.)
Keep the top of the water heater clean. If you notice water dripping on the water heater from any piping, contact a plumbing professional to have the leak repaired.
Keep the space around your water heater clean and free of dirt, boxes, paint cans, aerosol cans, household cleaners and trash. It is important to keep the heater accessible for proper operation and easy maintenance.
Drain 1 to 2 gallons per month.
Have the water heater anode rod inspected periodically by Wilson Home Services' water heater experts.
How do I drain my water heater?
INSTRUCTIONS TO FLUSH YOUR WATER HEATER
- On a gas water heater, turn the gas valve to the off position. On an electric water heater, turn the electric off to the heater.
- Shut the cold water off to the water heater.
- Open a hot water faucet.
- Connect a hose to the drain valve on the heater and run to a drain.
- Open the drain valve and allow the tank to completely drain.
- Turn back on the cold water into the water heater.
Allow the water to run through the water heater and out of the drain valve. Do this for approximately five (5) or ten (10) minutes.
Close the drain valve and allow the tank to refill, keeping the hot water faucet open. When water comes out of the faucet, the tank is full.
How do I adjust the temperature on my water heater?
Locate the thermostat dial on the side of your water heater.
Rotate the dial clockwise to increase the water temperature, and counter-clockwise to reduce the temperature.
Check the I&O manual for proper operational adjustment procedures.
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What does HVAC stand for?
HVAC (pronounced h-vack or spelled out) stands for Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning. The three functions of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning are closely interrelated. All seek to provide thermal comfort, acceptable indoor air quality, and reasonable installation, operation, and maintenance costs. HVAC systems can provide ventilation, reduce air infiltration, and maintain pressure relationships between spaces. Your heating and air technician goes by the name of HVAC contractor, and can provide heating repair expertise.
How does my heating and air conditioning system move air throughout my home?
A fan draws indoor air in through vents called return grills located throughout your home. The air travels through ducts that run to your systems' air handler, where it is returned into the conditioned space through supply vents or registers in your wall, ceilings or floors.
How often should I replace the filter?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer. The frequency of filter changes is driven by how much your heating and air conditioning system operates, which is also driven by your individual climate. Start by checking the system's filters at least once a month. Hold the used filter up to the light and compare it to a clean "spare." When light is obscured by captured dust and dirt particles, the old filter should be changed. Keep a record for one year and then replace the filter on that basis. At a minimum, it is always a good idea to change filters at the start of the heating and cooling seasons and then in between according to your need. Also, it is a good idea to have your heating and air system checked at the beginning of heating and cooling season to insure proper operation.
Why should I replace my working furnace or air conditioner?
Although your present furnace or air conditioner may be working, if it is more than 12 years old you should consider replacing it with a new high-efficiency system. A new heating and air conditioning system could save up to 50 percent on energy costs, and save you money in the long run on heating repairs. While these products save you money on your utility bills, they also offer a better degree of comfort within your home.
What is a SEER and EER?
Since January 2006, all residential air conditioners sold in the United States must have at least a 13 SEER. SEER is the abbreviation for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and it is a U.S. government standard energy rating and reflects the overall system efficiency of your cooling system. An EER is short for Energy Efficiency Ratio and doesn’t take into consideration the time of year, but rather the system’s energy efficiency at the peak operating use. Both ratings should be considered in choosing cooling products. The rating is a ratio of the cooling output divided by the power consumption and measures the cooling performance of the system. The Federal government developed an ENERGY STAR program for high-efficiency central air conditioning systems that in order to qualify must have a SEER of at least 14.
What is meant by a 'ton' of refrigeration?
Confusingly, the unit has little to do with weight, as used in everyday language. One ton of refrigeration is the term used to refer to 12,000 B.T.U.s/hour (British Thermal Units/Hour) of cooling effect. Thus, a condensing unit with a cooling capacity of 60,000 B.T.U.s/hour is said to have a capacity of 5 tons.
Why can't you ad coolant to my system without checking for a leak or repairing an existing leak?
Since July 1, 1992 it is illegal to release refrigerants into the atmosphere, either intentional or accidental, because they can cause severe damage to the ozone layer. When refrigerants such as Chlorofluorocarbon’s (CFCs) are removed, they should be recycled to clean out any contaminants and returned to a usable condition.
How does the Clean Air Act impact heating and cooling systems?
The portion of the Clean Air Act that applies to the Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry encourages the development of ozone-friendly substitutes for chemicals that contain ozone destroying chlorine, which are called hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The chemical refrigerant of choice for more than four decades, referred to as R-22, is in the HCFC category. R-22 is widely used in heat pumps and AC condensing units to heat and cool homes. Today, a refrigerant called R-410A is used because of its ozone-friendly properties.
What is radon?
Radon is an invisible, radioactive atomic gas that results from the radioactive decay of radium, which may be found in rock formations beneath buildings or in certain building materials themselves. Radon is probably the most pervasive serious hazard for indoor air quality in the United States and probably responsible for thousands of deaths from lung cancer each year. Proper testing can be done for the presence of radon and measures taken to minimize it affects.